As most people have been made aware, on February 3 New Providence High School switched to a different schedule. This schedule has 7 in person periods lasting about 40 minutes, with one zoom class in the afternoon. The zoom class will be the one dropped in the morning. The dropped class will depend on a rotating schedule.
“The schedule addresses many of the concerns and feedback we have received from our stakeholders- 32 minute periods being too short, don’t like retreating the same classes in a day, no professional period,” said Brian Henry, Principal of NPHS. “While there is never a perfect time for change, this naturally is the right time for the District as a whole to progress forward as our community, District, and school COVID numbers are low.”
The administration is calling this schedule the next step to normalcy during this long Pandemic.
The classes will indeed be closer to the normal time, and there will be a professional period, similar to how it was before quarantine. However, many students are not happy with the new schedule. One such student was so unhappy, that she started a petition in order to get rid of the new schedule. This petition now has more signatories then students at this school.
“There was a lot of controversy around the new schedule, and a lot of negative comments on it and I was just sick and tired of hearing it and the school not listening to us. So basically I just started this petition to show the multiple reasons why Mr. Henry and the Board should change the schedule” said Rachel Vargas, 10th grader at NPHS and writer of the petition.
One of the main reasons cited by students for disapproving of the new schedule was having to spend a longer amount of time in school during a global pandemic.
“ I believe that spending more time in school increases the risk of catching COVID-19, for school is an enclosed environment, despite the windows being open and other precautions being taken” said Nikhil Srivastiva, an NPHS freshman.
Another concern for many students is the potential for extra work load. With the longer classes, students agree that there’s a bigger chance of getting overwhelmed with homework and deadlines.
“I’m worried that there’s going to be more work and more stress and especially more homework” said Vargas.
A common theme among students is the anger over the fact that the administration did not seem to be listening to the students’ concerns.
“It’s really frustrating that they aren’t hearing the students and basically ignoring the main issues that are surrounding the whole schedule. It’s not even the schedule, it’s more about them just ignoring us” said Vargas.
“The administration should’ve sent out some kind of survey to get the opinion out of the student body. I do feel that is what happened in the past, when experimentation with schedules began” said Srivastiva
Many of the students are upset about the fact that the school hasn’t been trying to stay in touch with the opinions of the student body even though they are the people that the new schedule is affecting. Most students feel that their opinions should’ve been looked into more seriously during this decision making process.
Even though there is still a lot of argument over whether or not this schedule is the right decision, on February 4th the schedule went into effect, and hopefully it will result in the benefits that the administration thinks it will.
“While change is never easy, we are very excited and optimistic about the second half of the school year and look forward to our students continued success!” said Henry.